Australian mobile wagering operator BlueBet Holdings has withdrawn its application for a license in Virginia after being deemed ineligible for a permit.
BlueBet had put forward a submission for a license and paid all the relevant application fees but was informed by the Virginia Lottery that it was not eligible.
The Virginia Lottery said that licenses would, at this stage, only be granted to operators that had experience in other US states and have equity interest owned by minority individuals or minority-owned businesses.
To date, the Virginia Lottery has received 18 applications for five available licenses in the state.
As such, BlueBet withdrew from the licensing process and will have all of its application fees refunded.
BlueBet said that despite the withdrawal, it intends to continue with its ‘two-stage’ US entry strategy, whereby it identified five priority states to target licenses.
The operator already holds a license in Iowa and having dropped plans to launch in Virginia, it will now pursue permits in Colorado, Tennessee and Maryland, as well as monitor sports betting legislation progress in a further 10 states.
Last week, it was revealed that sports betting revenue in Virginia slipped 14.8% month-on-month in July as the state saw its handle fall to the lowest monthly total since the market launched in January.
Handle for the month reached $161.9m, which was 31.1% down from $234.9m and also the lowest amount since $58.9m was wagered in the first month of legal sports wagering in January this year.
Seven licensed operators were active in Virginia in July, including Flutter Entertainment-owned FanDuel, in partnership with the Washington Football Team. DraftKings, Rush Street Interactive, Caesars, WynnBet, BetMGM and Kindred Group’s Unibet brand.